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Sunday, May 20, 2012

On Loss and Grieving

Sometimes things happen and you don’t know what to say.  Sometimes there just isn’t any right thing to say.  Platitudes and trite sayings just don’t cut it when someone loses a loved one whether it was a total shock, or “expected”.  As if knowing such an event was on the way would bring any comfort!  Words are so very inadequate to express the shock, sadness, sense of loss, devastation that you know are being experienced at least 1,000 fold by the family.  You want to help, do something concrete.  I have sat with a very dear friend who lost her young daughter, just holding her hand, crying, talking, hugging, and expressing disbelief.  I have done this the day after her daughter left the Earth, and many times since in the intervening years.  I tried to figure out what the best thing to do or say is, and the only thing I can say is that it seems not mentioning the person who’s gone is the worst thing to do.  Even when talking about her makes her cry, my friend most wants for her daughter to be remembered.  Talking about those who are no longer with us keeps them present in our lives, helps fill the void somehow even though it is like one raindrop in the ocean.  I often talk about my parents who are both gone, I keep a picture or two of them around, it helps keep them in my life somehow.  Grieving is such an individual thing. There’s no right or wrong way, but not getting stuck in part of the cycle seems to be the key to continuing on with our lives here on Earth.  Just like keeping the pedals on a bicycle in one  position will not allow you to move forward, neither will staying on one part of the grieving cycle.  I know so many people who have lost loved ones recently, husbands, children, parents, siblings, and pets.  It all hurts.  Sometimes I feel like maybe I should edit what I say, what I write, in an effort to be sensitive to their losses.  If I did that, however, I’d be hard pressed to make conversation or write a letter or Facebook status.  We all lose loved ones, it’s part of our journey.  It never seems to make sense why the ones who go are chosen to do so when they are chosen.   I don’t know that we’re supposed to really make sense of it, but we try anyhow.  We’re each on our own life’s journey.  We help each other as best we can, try to learn from each other, and lend some comfort in whatever form—hugs, prayers, listening, holding hands, or just sitting silently side by side passing tissues.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Remember

I remember the sound of my mother’s laughter.

I remember how my mother called her mother every Thursday morning.

I remember fried eggs on toast for lunch, and fresh veggie sticks in the summer.

I remember fresh black raspberries for our cereal on a summer morning that my mother picked off the bushes in our yard before we were up.

I remember the pride in my mother’s voice when she spoke to others about her children.

I remember the joy on my mother’s face on each of our wedding days.

I remember the tender proud joy of my mother when holding her first grandchild, and her second, and third, and fourth, and fifth!

I remember the first sight of each of my daughter’s faces after they were born.

I remember the pride of showing off each of my babies.

I remember sleepy middle of the night feedings.

I remember singing softly to my babies.

I remember holding the little hands of my girls.

I remember the silkiness of the childhood hair as I braided their hair.

I remember handmade gifts and cards, and bouquets of dandelions.

I remember so much more than there is room for here.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday’s Thoughts

1)      Once you’ve been stretched under sedation you are on a first name basis with the doctor who performed the procedure.

2)       When the ice pack feels like you’re getting frost bite it’s time to remove it.

3)      Easter decorations still up at Mother’s Day is just sad (but not as sad as Christmas decorations still up!)

4)      If this house isn’t dusted soon there will be a haboob when we turn on the ceiling fans.

5)      No matter what you say there will be someone who is offended and/or disagrees with you.

6)      Buying and sending greeting cards is a nice thing to do, and it’s fun to read all the cards in the store when picking one out.

7)      It’s comforting to find that the nurse taking care of you grew up right around the corner from you and knows your family.

8)      The doctor that calls you personally at the end of the day after you’ve had a procedure done the morning is a caring person.

9)      There is something magical about the way the sunlight hits the undersides of the tall trees’ leaves as it is setting.
     10)     There’s something about a free weekend that excites the imagination.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Telling Stories

 Have you ever had an MRI?  Well, if you are claustrophobic, I suggest finding one of the “open” type because I never thought I was claustrophobic but I have to say that when you realize that for the next 20 minutes you are going to be laying inside a white plastic tube that’s almost pinning your arms down making all kinds of  banging and whirring noises while bombarding your body with magnetic waves, you might just start to feel a tad uneasy!  When I went for the MRI of my back I found myself feeling panicked so to keep my mind off it I kept my eyes tightly shut—it wasn’t dark inside the white tube, it was quite light—and pretended that I was laying outside in the sun and each new banging and whirring sequence was a different kind of animal (squirrel, chipmunk, raccoon, bird, etc.) trying to get into the house through the roof.  I imagined in great detail their little hard hats, reflective vests, tool belts and all their tools.  Everything down to the tiny lunch pails and water bottles they were having on their breaks!  I’m happy to say that they never made it—their tiny tools are not strong enough to break through the shingles on the roof.  Oh, my mind is an interesting place!

I find that having the ability to tell myself a story is a great way to distract myself from unpleasant situations such as having an MRI, or root canal.  I have been making up stories all my life.  Not lying, but just writing stories in my head.  Some of them make it onto paper (or computer now) but there have been so mamy I never wrote down.  My younger brother and I used to take a tape recorder and make up stories with sound effects to entertain ourselves.  I remember at least one of them, not the details, but things that happened while we were taping.   We titled it "The Haunted Volcano", and I was supposed to make the sound of the volcano erupting, except that each time I started to do it we both giggled and giggled instead.  I chuckle now as I think of it.  In another part we wanted to sound of a ghost clanking chains as Jacob Marley did in "A Christmas Carol" so my brother found something outside on the porch.  We were out there taping it when my mother came to see what the noise was and upon seeing Dave with the items we were using yelled "Hey!  Don't ruin that thing!", and Dave replied, "It's a ghost" before we both collapsed in giggles.  I wish I had those tapes, but I doubt they survived.  My brother went on to write and self publish a book of historical fiction, write a sci-fi novel (unpublished), as well as newspaper and magazine articles.  I simply continued writing for my own pleasure and start this blog.

I have some unpleasant things coming up in my near future, and plan to utilize my story telling ability to the max.  If I come up with any that I think would amuse my readers, you can be sure you will find them here!